The all-time classic is back - and better than ever! Super Mario 64 DS is the perfect showcase for the power of Nintendo DS, with touch sensitive control, dual screen gameplay and slick 3D graphics. Play the complete Nintendo 64 adventure, now with all-new characters, courses, game modes and challenges. Or battle with three friends in Wireless Versus mode (the game supports Single-Card Play for downloading the game wirelessly to friends' systems). Last, and definitely not least, you can try your hand (or your stylus) at tons of new touch-sensitive mini-games.
For anyone buying a Nintendo DS, Mario 64 is the most obvious first purchase. The main single player mode is essentially the same as the original Super Mario 64 for the Nintendo 64, albeit with 30 more stars to collect from the game's myriad levels. Back in 1997 it was the first truly successful 3D platform game and today its superlative level design still puts most new games to shame.
The most obvious difference with this new DS version is that you can now control Wario, Yoshi and Luigi in the game, as well as just Mario. There are also new and more powerful power-ups, such as the ability to turn Mario into an inflatable balloon, which make some of the hardest sections a little easier.
The most controversial change to the game though is the control system. With no analogue controller you have the choice to use just the D-pad or the stylus. The latter works best, but still seems an obvious compromise over the original version. A far more convincing showcase of the DS's touch screen can be seen with 36 different mini-games, many of which are surprisingly addictive. There's a multiplayer mode for four people to play wirelessly, which although a little simplistic is impressive for the fact that only one person needs a copy of the game to play it.
Although it does at times seem a little obvious that this was not a game originally designed with the DS in mind, it's still an enormous amount of fun and manages to showcase just about everything the new console is capable of. --David Jenkins